Indiana University Witnesses Massive Spike in COVID-19 at Frat, Sorority Houses

On Thursday, Indiana University at Bloomington asked students living in fraternity and sorority houses to move out, pointing to an “alarming” rate of positive COVID-19 tests that marked the new outbreak in the U.S. Midwest and at a college campus.

Lacking Proper Authority

The university wrote on Twitter that positive coronavirus cases were moving past 50% in some Greek houses, higher than in dorms, and urged fraternity and sorority members to “re-evaluate their current living situation.”

“Based on an increasingly alarming rate of positive test results from continued COVID-19 mitigation testing, IU Bloomington and its public health experts believe Greek houses are not safe given the pandemic conditions,” the school tweeted.

Indiana University, a campus that holds about 40,000 students, said it was deficient in terms of the authority to manage the privately owned houses. However, hoped Greek organizations and landlords would team up with students to help them make new arrangements.

Few students answering on social media accused the school of unfairly accusing the Greek system. Others said administrators should have anticipated the outbreaks as many people were living in close quarters.

Major universities have coped with thousands of students getting back to campus for the fall semester, with some imposing online-only learning. Fresh cases have amplified in some colleges that have permitted students to return to class.

Hollywood is Also Affected

New coronavirus infections have decreased nationwide for straight six weeks in a row. However, the cases are surging in the Midwest. Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota are registering the highest percentage of positive tests, more than 20% in each state.

Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists cascaded on Sturgis, South Dakota, in August for an annual rally and health experts were tensed that this could further spread the virus. On Wednesday a Minnesota health official said a motorcycle enthusiast in his 60s who had shown up there died of COVID-19.

Last week new cases increased to 27% in Minnesota and 34% in Indiana.

Among those who have tested positive in recent days is British actor Robert Pattinson, 35, resulting in an abrupt halt to production of his film “The Batman.” Hollywood is struggling to regain its hold after the pandemic shutdown.

The Baseball Hall of Fame stated late on Wednesday that Tom Seaver, considered one of the sport’s greatest right-handed pitchers, lost his life due to complications of COVID-19 and Lewy body dementia at the age of 75.

Pro-wrestler turned Hollywood actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 48, expressed in a video message posted on social media on Wednesday that he, his wife, and their two children had tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks but had since recovered.

Hard Work of New Yorkers

New York City on Thursday permitted malls to reopen for customers at 50% capacity. Statewide, casinos can now operate at 25% capacity.

“Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers, we are at a point in our fight against this virus where we can safely reopen malls in New York City as long as they adhere to strict health and safety protocols,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

U.S. public health officials and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) stated that a COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for distribution as soon as late October, just before the November 3 election in which the pandemic is expected to be a substantial factor in deciding whether President Donald Trump wins a second term.